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The Effect of Cow Udder Score on Calf Performance

By : Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Nebraska research shows hot carcass weights were lighter from bad uddered cows.

Scientists at the University of Nebraska (J. Beard, J. Musgrave, R. Funston and J. Mulliniks) used 812 cows and their udder scores to evaluate calf performance. Udders scores were recorded from a 1 (bad) to 5 (good) as reported in the Integrated Resource Management Guide (National Cattlemen’s Beef Association). They then separated the data into 2 groups of Bad Udders (1 and 2 scores) and Good Udders (3 or greater scores). There were 233 cows with Bad Udders and 1,742 cows with Good udders.

There was not a difference in calf weaning weights (Bad Udders, 451 lbs and Good Udders 446 lbs, P=.40). Final weight of steers and heifers exiting the feedlot were similar (Bad Udder, 1,364 lbs and Good Udder, 1,388 lbs, P=.30). However hot carcass weights were heavier (P=.04) for steers and heifers (860 lbs) from Good Udder cows than steers and heifers (829 lbs) from Bad Udder cows.

Source: 2019 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Page 5-6

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